Eating Organic On The Cheap: 9 Delicious Meal Ideas

You may think eating organic means spending your whole paycheck at Whole Foods, but it doesn’t have to! Check out these 9 awesomely healthy and affordable dinner menus…

If you want to eat healthier, you may have considered switching to organic, but given up the idea as too costly. In fact, the price of organic food has declined dramatically in recent years, while the quality has improved.

If you’re considering making the switch to eating organic, check out this article on the items that are most important to purchase organic, and start there.

But if you just want to try out some organic meal ideas and see just how inexpensive they can be, here are 9 great organic dinners that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! These all ring it at $5 or less per serving, and there are affordable options when you’re pressed for time as well….

Whole Grain Tabbouleh Salad

No one thinks about whole grains as a protein source, but—surprise, surprise!—they are. A cup of quinoa, oats, or even whole wheat averages about 6 grams of protein—the same amount found in an egg. Even better, organic grains are super budget-friendly. Organic quinoa costs, on average, $0.75 per ¼ cup serving….

Serves 4

1 cup cooked quinoa, millet, or barley
1¾ cup vegetable broth
1 large ripe tomato, diced
½ cup finely chopped cucumber
⅓ cup chopped scallions
⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley and tender stems
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine metal strainer until the water runs clear. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Spread quinoa onto a sheet pan to cool. (You can prepare quinoa a day in advance and keep chilled until ready to use.) Transfer cool quinoa to a salad or mixing bowl.

3. Add tomato, cucumber, scallions, mint, parsley, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Cover and chill before serving.

(Recipe via Libby Mills)


 Shake And Eat Salads

All you need is a mason jar and a good grip to shake up this organic meal. Substitute 2 to 3 tablespoons of salsa for the Honey Lime Cumin dressing to cut down on prep time and switch up the flavor.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 pinch cumin

⅓ cup cooked black beans or quinoa
⅓ cup cooked corn kernels
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, washed and dried

Add all ingredients to a mason jar. Start with dressing ingredients, then beans, corn, and tomatoes. Add lettuce last. Chill until ready to shake and eat.


365 Organic Vegetable Lasagna Or Vegan Lasagna ($3.99 for 1 serving)

Realistically, not everyone has time to make an elaborate, healthy meal come 8 PM. The good thing is that supermarkets like Whole Foods are stocking their freezer cases with affordable, pre-made organic dinners that are nothing like the sketchy TV dinners you ate as a kid. This lasagna is made with all organic ingredients and costs less than $4 per serving. All you need to do is heat and eat.

For more organic recipes and meal ideas, check out the full list at Rodale’s Organic Life